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Xenoblade Chronicles 2 logo
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 box art
Developer(s) Monolith Soft
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Platform(s) Nintendo Switch platform icon
Genre(s) Role-playing
Rating(s)
ESRB  PEGI  ACB

05ESRB - T  03PEGI 12  03Australian Classification Board - M

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Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (JP) is a direct sequel to Xenoblade Chronicles, releasing on the Nintendo Switch as the third entry in the Xenoblade series. The RPG was released on December 1st, 2017. It is a more story-driven game than its predecessor, Xenoblade Chronicles X, and its art style is more reminiscent of Japanese animation.

Gameplay

Playable Characters

Fighting

Like the previous games in the series, the fighting centers around auto attacks and the Arts used by the playable character. However, unlike previous games, the arts are determined by the Blades and not the character themselves. Like in Xenoblade Chronicles 1, the party is limited to 3 characters during battle and the player can choose to play as any available party member. Each playable character has a special Blade that cannot be disengaged, as well as two additional Blades to fight with. Each Blade has four arts that can be leveled up with points earned by taking down enemies; however, the player is limited to three of these arts for use in battle.

Instead of waiting for arts to recharge over time, arts are charged through auto-attacks. By using arts, the Driver can raise the level of "Special Arts". Using a special art in combat will initiate a blade combo, which increases in tier according to both element of the next special art used and its level. Upon completion of the third level of the blade combo, the enemy is given an element orb based on the finishing element of a combo. This orb seals an ability of the opponent, at the expense of giving the enemy defense against attacks of that orb's element. Once the player has marked the enemy with enough orbs, they can unleash a Chain Attack and burst the orbs, causing massive damage. Five burst orbs will cause the party to launch an even more powerful group attack.

The player can also initiate Driver Combos via the status effects Break, Topple, Launch, and Smash. By using arts with these effects in the listed order, the player can temporarily incapacitate the enemy while increasing damage.

Exploration

Like in Xenoblade Chronicles 1, the game reward the player for exploration as optional areas with extra rewards, Unique Monsters and side quests can be found in every explorable areas. Side quests also give additional experience points, gold and equipment as well as new rare Blades that can not be obtained via Core Crystals. This time, the experience earned in side quests is counted as bonus experience that can be applied to character when they sleep in inns which allow the player to choose their level if they gain too much bonus experience in their liking.

Plot

The game is about a scavenger named Rex, a Driver, who promised to a Blade named Pyra to seek out Elysium a place known to be a paradise. They aim to achieve this before the death of the Titans, massive beasts that are homes to the various civilizations of their world.

Development

Reveal

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 was first revealed during the Nintendo Switch presentation on January 12, 2017, the presentation only featured a trailer of the game in Japanese.

E3 2017

During the Nintendo Spotlight of E3 2017 a second trailer was shown as well as a gameplay presentation during the livestream of the Nintendo Treehouse.

End of the soundtrack recording

On August 10, 2017, the Twitter account of Yasunori Mitsuda, a composer of the game, announced that the development team finished the recording of the soundtrack of the game.

Gamescom 2017

On August 25, 2017, a new gameplay sequence was shown at the Gamescom 2017. The sequence put emphasis on the new battle possibilities that the new Blade mechanic offer, a new area was also shown and bits of quests could also be seen during the presentation.

Official website

On September 5, 2017, a dedicated section was opened on the American version of the Nintendo website. This section reveal new details on the story of the game and the characters featured in it.

Nintendo Direct (9/13/2017)

During the Nintendo Direct that was broadcasted on September 13, 2017, an extended presentation of the game and its world was shown and a collector edition was announced.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Direct

The Nintendo Direct revealed a dual-audio DLC pack for free at launch. The trailer also revealed Pyra's alternate form, Mythra. The Direct delved into the game's systems explaining the functions of all the Blades, more depth in the combat and the trading mechanic.

Expansion Pass

Revealed on November 7 2017, this expansion pass will be available for purchase on launch day. The expansion pass includes the following

  • Helpful Items Pack - December 1 2017
  • Helpful Items Pack - December 22 2017
  • Helpful Items Pack 3 - January 18 2018
  • New Quests Pack 1 - January 18 2018
  • New Quest Pack 2 - March 31 2018
  • Poppi Buster - April 27 2018
  • New rare Blades - spring 2018
  • New Chanllenge Battle Mode - Summer 2018
  • A Brand-New Story and Adventure! - Autumn 2018

1.3.0 update

On February 9, 2018, Tetsuya Takahashi announced new features to be added to the game via the 1.3.0 update. The update include a new game plus in which the player keeps their party level, their equipement and affinity charts for both Blades and Drivers, Blades themselves, items, gold, Mercenary Group level, Developement of Areas, content in the event theater and Unique Monsters defeated. The new game plus will also allow the player to resonate with the members of Torna and their Blades to use them in battle as Blades. The update also allow the player to dispatch and remove even special Blades from the party during their second playthrough. The Drivers also get further growth factors to unlock in the Drivers’ Affinity Charts during new game plus. The level of the Driver can be modified in inns, if the level is decreased, the Driver will get equivalent bonus exp to increase their levels later in new game plus. The update also add new features that can be used during the regular game like: the ability to lock Blades so that they are not released by accident, the Blade resonating scene is now skipable, the extended mini map now display the same icons set in the Skip Travel menu, a new easy mode.

1.3.1 update

On March 31, 2018 the 1.3.1 update was released. The update contain bug fixes and four new quest that are part of the Expansion Pass. The new quest added are: Nopon of Good Tastes, Cleared of All Charges, Beneath the Aurora, Upgrades and Tinkering and Most Awful News?!.

1.4.0 update

On April 24, 2018 the 1.4.0 was announced. The update released on April 27, 2018 contain the first Expansion Pass exclusive Blade, Poppi Buster, and a new Blade available for anyone on New Game +, T-elos, another Blade inspired by the character of the same name from the Xenosaga series.


Reception

Sales

As of the end of December 2017, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 sold 1.06 milion copies which marks the first time that a game in the Xenoblade series sold more than 1 million copies on a single system. As of the end of April 2018, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 sold 1.31 million copies worldwide